It was a special day for new beginnings on 9 September 2010 for 30 youth from the east when two Sri Lankan products launched a venture that is a fine example to many and indeed a worthy investment that will reap a pool of new hoteliers.
Why was it special? It is special by the nature of its focus – the youth of the east. It was special by nature of its ultimate goal – building a region fit for youth. Most of all, the dawning of this special partnership represents the collective conviction of NDB and MLH’s International Hotel School that a truly prospering and humane region requires holistic investments in its youth and their development undoubtedly securing a great future for Sri Lanka.
The vision and framework for NDB Jeevana Livelihood Training and Loan Scheme indeed fits the bill of the tourism development initiatives for the east.
“We are also proud to be a catalyst to take steps for a changing landscape with its own set of new collective challenges. Issues like youth with no occupation and the new investments creating the east as a tourism destination hence creating an influx of opportunities for the youth hence an increased job force necessary for the hospitality field to prosper in the country particularly the east as it is now ready to face the new era in a new outlook,” said Harinda Weerasinghe, Resident Manager of MLH.
As such, the reflection and development initiatives taken on the youth by NDB and MLH’s training are not only to gain knowledge and creating a knowledge centre in the heart of the east but also enabling them to emerge as an asset to the hotel or hospitality trade in Sri Lanka, and indeed sustaining their livelihood.
The long term value of this special initiative will be gauged by the continued commitment and support rendered by MLH in the field of training and development. Mount Lavinia Hotel’s commitment to the youth not only is focused on the east but also in the youth nationwide.
Commenting on why they chose MLH, Dalreen Seneviratne of NDB said it was because it was a well established Sri Lankan icon, prestigious and professional, that goes hand in hand with NDB’s vision of being a world class Sri Lankan outfit and this was only the way forward.
“Inspired leadership like this taken by NDB and MLH’s International Hotel School makes all the difference in putting an action plan into reality. Amongst the many CSR initiatives that have been begun by MLH this would be a milestone for the youth in Sri Lanka. And finally it must not be forgotten that it is the people within a building that create a welcoming atmosphere and we are proud that we have invested on the ambassadors that create that magical experience for the world today,” said Ruwan Punchihewa, Director HR of MLH.
The International Hotel School (IHS) is situated in the vicinity of Mount Lavinia Hotel and students receive a supervised practical training in hands-on learning activities offered by Mount Lavinia Hotel.
After completing the Diploma Course at IHS, students are granted a two year exemption to read for the Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) Degree at the Thames Valley University UK, a three year Diploma at the International Hotel Management Institute, Lucerne, Switzerland, and the Bachelor of Business Administration of Schiller International University USA, Switzerland, UK and France.
The Hotel Catering and International Management Association (HCIMA), UK, awards 20 educational points for the two year Diploma of the IHS. Several other universities grant exemptions to IHS students. The school also provides its students with a monthly allowance, meals while on duty and uniforms.